Top 5 Photo Opportunities In Guadalajara
Guadalajara stands in contrast to the beach and tourist centers found throughout Mexico and featured on YAHglobal.Com. As a city of industry, you wont find a list of turquoise tide tools, wave lapped shorelines, and perched cliffs. You know, the usual over adjective ridden colloquies found in and on travel periodicals and websites, including YAHglobal.Com.
Instead, Guadalajara's tone is that of deep greys accented with greenery here and there. Sound boring? Not at all. These ashen colors intermingle with deeper meaning, architectual genius, and are underlined with an artistic elegnance that no sunset silhouetted palm tree could ever match. Hows that for adjective injection?
Plaza de la Liberacion, Guadalajara
Degollado theater, inaugurated in 1866 is named in honor of Santos Degollado, a governor of Jalisco. The theater is the official seat of the Symphonic Orchestra in Guadalajara and is also home to opera, ballet, plays and true to classic Mexican form, a Mariachi festival. The neo-classical exterior at night could hardly be more photo worthy with bluish white lights perfectly reflecting the structure on the still-as-glass fountain pool out front. If you were hanging upside down and looking at the Degollado head on, you would not be able to tell which was the reflected image and which was the physical. YAHglobal.Com does not endorse hanging upside down.
Degollado Theater is located between Morelos, Hidalgo, Liceo and Degollado Streets.
Guadalajara Cathedral - Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady
This cathedral has an unstable past (a pun that has yet to be realized...read on). In 1541, when the original was erected, it only had thatched roofing. With numerous candles as its source of lighting, one could foreshadow a flaming disaster to come in the near future. However, over 30 years passed before the first incident, which instead came from common gunpowder play (gunfire) in the region, resulting in the church being burnt down. In the early 1600's it was rebuilt and stood tall for two centuries until an earthquake in 1818 took down the towers and dome of the Guadalajara Cathedral. The structures were replaced but fell again in the earthquake of 1849. Over the 3 years following, repairs were made at significant cost (at the time), but 6 subsequent earthquakes taking place between 1932 and 2003 continued to impact the structural integrity of the Guadalajara Cathedral leaving a subtle tilt of the north tower and a permanently damaged dome.
The cathedral is still impressive in scale and decor with a marble and silver alter and stained glass windows creating an amazing array of color that changes with the time of day. But the moral of this story/entry on this list is simple; Take as many photos of this historical attraction before it's time is up, and umm, please dont hang around for too long when inside, just for the sake of precaution.
The Man of Fire @ Hospicio Cabanas
The Man of Fire, created to completion in 1939 by Jose Clemente Orozco is one ominous fresco painting, especially considering its existence within a location that housed a hospital, orphanage and an almshouse (old age home). Its pretty safe to assume that the people found in a place such as this wouldn't have been too keen on seeing the image of a man representing humanity ascending into falmes up on the ceiling. Orozco had a thing for the apocalypse. Today the Hospicio Cabana, complete with The Man of Fire looking on, serves more appropriately as an institute for the arts (Cabanas Cultural Institute) in Guadalajara.
Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento
Zona Centro, Guadalajara
You could almost fill every single photo opportunity list for Mexico with temples, cathedrals, basilicas and churches. For the sake of variety we have not done that, but this claim tells you that Mexico's population, especially Guadalajara, is deeply rooted in spirituality and religion and thus their architecture reflects that fact. As a traveler, this means you are provided a visual treat at almost every corner's turn within Guadalajara. Templo Expatriato del Santisimo Sacramento's interior may not be as elaborately decorated or colored with gold leaf and plaster as some Mexican cathedrals, but its height, peaking above the alter, is downright spellbinding. Amazing "zoom out" shots can be taken from within if you stand far back enough to capture the numerous rows of pews while still following the ceiling to the point of its zenith at the end. Christmas, as with most churches, is the best time to see the Templo Expatriato del Santisimo Sacramento, so if you are in town during the season, make sure you come on by. Classical decorations and lights wound up like christmas trees floating up to the summit of this towering cathedral make for perfect holiday card style photos. You'll put your annoying cousins with their vexatiously perfect kids dressed up in their Christmas sweaters to shame. You're welcome.
Zona Centro, Guadalajara
From the prerequisite naked babies spouting water fountain to a pair of lions protecting a supposed pinetree (commissioned to be pine but made as leaves instead) to a big corkscrew, Plaza Tapatia is home to an eclectic and even wacky compilation of statues and fountains. There are also a variety of shops and food kiosks around allowing you to make a full afternoon photoshoot go by in a blur. Take your time and explore the Plaza Tapatia in its entirety.